Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heightened Awareness

What do a couple of important political scientists and New York gossip bloggers have in common? They all have noticed that shouting classic anti-Semitic accusations from the rooftops, even if you call the complaints academic analysis or post-PC humor, will get Jews all whiny. Who but complete Jews would think to worry about a scholarly work (balanced and accurate, or at least worthwhile, by definition) or a silly joke? The strange thing about Jews is that despite being blessed throughout history with a peaceful and under-the-radar existence, they have this paranoid notion that the rest of the world--along with many in their own ranks--wants them gone. Every time we pass a nearby Jewish center, my mother points out all the cement barricades and mentions how this is because everyone hates the Jews. She's right, but does pointing this out help? Do cement barricades help? Is it better to just accept that we are all mortal, Jews and non-Jews alike, and enjoy our time on this horribly anti-Semitic planet we call our own?


Glenn said...

I like reading this blog--I was first tuned into it off of a citation in HaAretz. I think Phoebe is a great writer, a credit to "Stuyers" worldwide.

However, I kind of disagree with this entry.

The thing is, its not only jews who get upset over anti-semitic things, in the same way that not only blacks get upset over anti-black things, or not only other targeted groups get upset over racial epithets.

Like anything in life, some people care a great deal about the world, some care only about their own community, and some care only as far as the tip of their nose.

It is however a very jewish thing to think that no one will come to our people's aid when we as a people are in danger. (holocaust, inquisition, etc. etc.)


Phoebe said...

What citation in Haaretz?

I think the difference is Jews tend to read as anti-Semitic many things that non-Jews read as neutral. Few will come out and say that beating a Jew on the streets of Paris is acceptable because the Palestinians are oppressed, but in less straightforward situations there's a lot more disagreement.

glenn said...

Shmuel Rosner, the chief US correspondent for HaAretz has a blog on the HaAretz website. In his blog, he from time to time posts short items on interesting articles. He cited your article, including a hyperlink (to a website it was crossposted on, I believe) on the yeshiva grad who married a non-jew and was Shocked! Shocked! that his yeshiva ostracized him as an excellent and on point analysis of the flaws in the fellow's reasoning. I looked tonight and couldn't find if it was still posted. However, if you are interested, you could always email him and ask him directly.

Rosner's blog(if you are not familiar with it)focuses mainly on US and Israeli politics, although he delves into other American Jewish cultural issues as well.